Board Smart - A Governance eLearning Resource

Board Smart - A Governance eLearning Resource

The Need

The importance of governance in retirement systems is seriously under-rated. This is despite the recognition that the quality of governance affects the performance of the entire organization and the soundness of the plan.

The quality of governance in a pension system affects relationships among all the parties: the governing bodies, plan sponsors, and the board; relationships within and between the board and the executive; the ability of the system to attract and retain the best people; its stakeholder relations; and, ultimately, the organization's ability to deliver value and benefits to the beneficiaries.

  • Most pension trustees are lay people and not pension or investment experts.
  • Trustees immediately assume fiduciary duties regardless of their preparedness.
  • Collectively, trustees are asked to make multiple, long-term decisions affecting billions of dollars and millions of people.
  • New trustees typically face steep learning curves (can be as long as two years).
  • They are often "drinking from the fire hose."

The Challenge

How to bring new trustees up to speed as quickly as they can reasonably learn?

  • System based on-boarding is usually a one-time event (2-6 hours).
  • Current learning resources for new and existing public pension trustees are largely conference based.
  • Few governance resource materials exist on Retirement System Governance.
  • Need on-line / on-demand individualized delivery of governance learning materials.

The Board Smart Solution

  • Offer an accredited, on-line, on-demand, self-paced, self-directed governance learning resource:
    • Basic, intermediate and advanced levels of training
    • Full spectrum of topics relevant to a retirement system trustee
  • Provide short, engaging and insightful "Talks" on multiple governance topics by recognized governance experts.
  • Available to each system on a very affordable subscription basis.